View Poll Results: How many click-thrus makes your site a Player?

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  1. #1
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    How Many DAILY Click Thrus are Merchants Looking For?
    When you sign up for a new Aff. Program....

    How many DAILY click-thrus make you feel like you are sending your merchant enough traffic to justify some attention?

    Not special attention, just enough to make you feel like you are worth the extra effort that would justify them working closely with you and building a profitable relationship??


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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I don't think clicks are the right metric. Merchants just care about how many sales you're making and what sort of revenue you're generating. You could be getting very few clicks and do quite a few sales or you could be doing thousands of clicks with no sales.

    - Scott
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  3. #3
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    Merchants are looking for all the FREE traffic they can get ... if you make a sale that is just gravy ... and since 90% of ALL online merchants cheat affiliates is some manner, shape or form, it really doesn't matter.

    The key metric is GOOGLE ... Goofle as Leader calles it ... calls the tune. The BIG G does not take prisoners ... NO merchant gets a FREE RIDE ... it's pay us or take your chances
    like everyone else for a first page listing and generic traffic.

    So if a merchant can get a fool to send them traffic on the come from Goofle ... and for the most part the only converting traffic comes from Goofle ... by paying PPC they get a FREE RIDE.

    Sure they can say but we pay a commission for sales ... but HOW DO YOU REALLY KNOW
    when a sale is made. For just about all merchants, you do not know the name of the buyer, what exactly they bought and where they came from. It is SO EASY on all the networks for merchants to cheat, that selling for a merchant who is on a network is almost a bad joke.

    There are a few exceptions, but they are very few. This situation is nothing new. It's been going on since 2002 - only getting worse now. When people had money to spend on garbage they did and you could make money as an affiliate. Today, people are not buying much of the garbage touted by most merchants, so affiliates are dying on the vine.

    And merchants are dying as well. Less traffic from Goofle means fewer sales. No affiliates to eat the PPC charge for them and they are toast.

    And of course there are exceptions on both sides of the coin ... but unless you are making a $1,000 or so PROFIT from your affiliate efforts you are probably wasting your
    time and money. Few affiliates divide the hours they spend trying to make money into the amount of PROFIT they make to get their HOURLY WAGE of doing online business.

    It is not easy to make money online ... and those of us who do paid some serious dues in time and effort to find out how to do it.

    Almost any affiliate can make more PROFIT charging a merchant for a banner slot on their site than they can from making sales. You don't think Yahoo is spinning those box banners on their home page on the come do you?

    You get a merchant to pay you $30 a month for a banner and you get 10 of them to do so, and you will actually make some money ... You do notice that Haiko is not spinning banners for FREE on here.

    The REAL SECRET to making affiliate money is this: Get enough money coming in from Advertisers to pay for your PPC costs and then use that to do market stuff that sells using PPC. Having your own product helps, but it is not really necessary.

    Contrary to all the idiots who say it is not true ... making money online is 100% click arbitrage. If it costs you ONE CENT per visitor from ALL your traffic sources and costs, you need to make more than that to make a profit. No opinion, BS or otherwise will change that fact whether you get one visitor per day or 10,000.

    When the dust settles and the economy gets a bit better - about 2012/13 (my guess) the net will have a few profitable affiliate marketing options but the money will be made
    from advertising just like on TV, print and direct mail for one simple fact:

    That is exactly what happened when radio, TV, cable and every other form of mass communication that has come along. They ALL tried a form of AM ... they ALL failed miserably at it with a few exceptions. The NET is no different. It's just another form of
    mass communication.

  4. #4
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    The post written ABOVE is beyond #u@*ed up.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant Consultant Team
    The post written ABOVE is beyond #u@*ed up.
    Yeah, net4biz, you seem to have had just a wee bit too much coffee this morning.

    You seem to have forgotten about those of us who do NOT rely on any PPC. I do quite well, thank you, with SEO and with only about half of my traffic coming through Google. I should have about 6 M visitors this year looking for everything from hotel rooms to onion choppers. (Mostly hotels in a couple of main markets, really.) I believe they originally show up looking for, and then, at, the hundreds of photographs with captions we provide (for a few popular travel destinations).

    If you create good sites that provide something of interest and value to your readers - the readers will come - and they will buy - and they will recommend your site to others. And, if you provide a good service, they will become repeat customers.
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  6. #6
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    The post written ABOVE is beyond #u@*ed up.
    Yeah, that's definitely an obscure view of cost per sale Affiliate marketing. Based on link value, authority, overall quality and legacy of their sites, my guess is that the top volume Affiliates on our network have never paid for a click... (notice I said "Affiliates" plural)

  7. #7
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Don't turn things into a he said - she said ..... N4B has an opinion and that's fine.

    I put the poll on here so that anyone who wanted, could be anonymous.

    I'd really like to know how much traffic - in my case, all organic, no ppc, does it take.

    I know that quality of traffic is key, but how in the world do I know where the traffic comes from that click on my creative.

    ( I do like the buy.at console report that tells you which url the CT came from. )

    I have 1000's of people a day coming from various SE's and other sites and assume that most of it is from people concerned about their home in some manner.

    That has been a quality target audience for 12 years and converts well for contractors, foreclosures, woodworking etc., but I just can't get them to convert in any of my new aff. programs that I push hard for a while and then try something else.

    I rant.

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  8. #8
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RemodelingGuy
    I put the poll on here so that anyone who wanted, could be anonymous.
    Anonymous?

    I can see 4 names in there...

  9. #9
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal
    Anonymous?

    I can see 4 names in there...
    How do you see names in the poll Sal?

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  10. #10
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RemodelingGuy
    How do you see names in the poll Sal?
    Just by clicking on the "View Poll Results" link, up there...

    If you want to make the poll anonymous, you must check the make anonymous box on the poll, at the time you made the poll...

  11. #11
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal
    Just by clicking on the "View Poll Results" link, up there...

    If you want to make the poll anonymous, you must check the make anonymous box on the poll, at the time you made the poll...
    Uh! Crap -

    Yeppers. It's there.

    Live and learn -

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  12. #12
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    Merchants cannot survive on clicks.

    But if you are doing at 20-50Clicks/day, we are looking at 600-1500/month.

    If the content is relevant and the merchant's site converts, you are looking at 15-45 sales @ Avg ticket of $50. If the merchant is making $2250 per affiliate, that is pretty significant.

    It also depends on things like, are you working with DELL like company or whether you are working with a small-medium size merchant. To companies like Dell, 20-50 clicks a day are peanuts. And on that note, their Clicks to conversion might be very low as the cost per average ticket is very high. People would take many visits to dell before hitting SUBMIT ORDER when it comes to buying a $1000 PC

  13. #13
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    I agree with Snib -- it's not about clicks, it's about conversions (sales dollars). I've had merchant-advertisers where 10 clicks per day produced 5 sales per week. I've had other merchant-advertisers where 100 clicks per day produced 0 sales in six months.

    In most affiliate programs, generating a single click (ever) probably pushes you ahead of 80% of all other affiliates; generating more than one click per day probably pushes you ahead of 95% or 98% of all other affiliate enrolled in that merchant's program.

    Many merchants completely ignore all affiliates; some affiliate managers lavish the exact same attention on every affiliate (usually via newsletters).

    A decent minority of affiliate managers* will respond to requests for help; a very small minority will spontaneously make helpful suggestions specific to your site or niche. With these affiliate managers, I don't really think it makes much difference whether you've generated 10 clicks or 100,000 in the past month -- they want to help you because they know that you want to help them drive sales.

    * Arguably, the people who ignore affiliate emails shouldn't be called "affiliate managers" at all; they are simply "the merchant's employee who receives emails from affiliates."

  14. #14
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    I agree with Snib -- it's not about clicks, it's about conversions (sales dollars). I've had sites where 10 clicks per day produced 5 sales per week. I've had sites where 100 clicks per day produced 0 sales in six months.

    In most affiliate programs, generating a single click (ever) probably pushes you ahead of 80% of all other affiliates; generating more than one click per day probably pushes you ahead of 95% or 98% of all other affiliate enrolled in that merchant's program.

    But may merchants completely ignore all affiliates; some affiliate managers lavish the exact same attention on every affiliate (usually via newsletters).

    A decent minority will respond to requests for help; a very small minority will spontaneously make helpful suggestions specific to your site or niche. With these affiliate managers, I don't really think it makes much difference whether you've generated 10 clicks or 100,000 in the past month -- they want to help you because they know that you want to help them drive sales.
    Excellent response....

    But, how do you differentiate between the quality of one visitor and another who clicks through to the merchant site?

    What is a bad click when the traffic is generated organically????

    PPC CT's I understand.

    I think I need to generate some new sections of my site.

    Micro-Targeted Sections.

    Green Living has been a bust so far, but maybe Gardening and Energy Savings or sumtin'.

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  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador CCBerries's Avatar
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    clicks are not money, sales are money
    for me affiliates that pre-sell the product get my attention first, the more questions they ask me (that are not already covered in the sites FAQs) the more I know they are putting in the time to do the best job they can.
    When I see an affiliate site that has false claims on it : they get moved down a notch & if it's with my product I try to stear them in the right direction.

  16. #16
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I'm in the camp with those who think most merchants don't care one bit about clicks. It's sales they're looking for (despite what some with low-quality traffic may think).
    Michael Coley
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  17. #17
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    Jimmy wrote: > "how do you differentiate between the quality of one visitor and another who clicks through to the merchant site? What is a bad click when the traffic is generated organically?" <

    Conversions. Sales. Dollars. Profits. Those are the metrics. And the real metrics come on the merchant's internal data, NOT using an affiliate network's reports or even Google AdWords-conversion-tracking and Google Analytics (which can be "gamed," as I recently learned after briefly managing an AdWords account after the client fired an unethical PPC agency).

    There are thousands of con-artists out there who promise results based on all kinds of metrics: numbers of affiliates, adviews, CPM, pageviews, clickthroughs, cost-per-click, registrations, cost-per-sale, and even sales dollars. The common thread is the lack of accountability for the bottom line: actual profit. (Of course, profit is affected by many factors outside any one person's or agency's control, so performance must almost always be measured based on intermediate metrics, but always with an eye on the bottom line.)

    If a merchant is upset just because your site doesn't provide some "intermediate measure" in a range that the merchant wants, the merchant is not competent and you're likely well rid of them.

    It's easy to improve "intermediate measures" in ways that impress clients in the short term. Within the PPC world, relatively minor changes (keywords, placements) can substantially increase or decrease any intermediate measures; if a client wants to double CTR, I can do that (by culling low-CTR placements and keywords, or by increasing bid rates). Likewise, I can "tweak" many other performance metrics. If the client complains that the conversion rate from the affiliate program is lower than the merchant's average, I can just cull out low-conversion affiliates (I'm removing company profits, but the intermediate metric looks better).

    For the web publisher, the focus must be on revenue. There are some intermediate measures (traffic, CTR, conversion rate) and some "near-goal" measures (earnings per click, earnings per pageview, earnings per visitor -- all after adjusting for any acquisition costs such as PPC) but the bottom line is really how much profit you have each month.

    Focus on what you have, and what you can build -- don't focus on artificial, intermediate metrics.

  18. #18
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    I'm in the camp with those who think most merchants don't care one bit about clicks. It's sales they're looking for (despite what some with low-quality traffic may think).

    I think EVERYONE is in that camp!

    Question is, if we can prove that we can generate enough clicks to the merchant, should we expect them to take us seriously and find a solution to the lack of sales?

    I'm tiring of changing up creative every three days to see what sticks.

    I've joined some programs that I KNOW should work with my visitors.

    I've had some Aff. mgrs go out of their way to create creative for me, only to blast it around my sites and have zero results...

    Shout out to Jack, Chuck, SAS and the crew at buy.at for the extra effort.

    I just can't get the creative to perform. -

    Good to decent click thrus, but squat dollar wise. - x 2

    I don't want to use up ad space that isn't making REAL money on a daily basis.
    Last edited by RemodelingGuy; June 26th, 2009 at 02:59 PM.

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  19. #19
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    Almost everyone who disagrees with me has a beneficial interest in the status quo.

    My take is really a challenge to merchants and affiliate managers. Merchants have
    to pay wages to people to work for them. AM's do not work on the come. They usually
    get paid a fee of sorts plus a percentage of sales. But:

    AFFILIATES ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO ARE EXPECTED TO WORK FOR FREE until a sale is made and then they earn a commission. They are expected to absorb all their own expenses and such in the process. The justification being they are affiliates, in business
    for themselves, and if you can't cut it's not our fault.

    In the REAL world, I have NO PROBLEM with that view. It's how I have made a living for decades. BUT, cheating or not getting paid was NEVER a problem, because it was not in the business interest to cheat or not pay. If you did not get paid, you went to small claims court and won. CONTRACTS had validity.

    On the net cheating, unlawful conversion and such is endemic ... because people can get away with it.

    Can you do okay as an affiliate ... SURE ... get a good SEO rank and you can do well. But
    there can only be 8 to 10 first page spots on any keyword.

    Can you do okay as an affiliate using PPC ... SURE ... find keywords that convert, that are profitable selling your own product or the products and serivces of merchants who have PROVEN to be trustworthy.

    On the otherhand, all the AM crews tell you their merchants are doing well, their top affiliates are raking in the money, do 100% SEO, but they never say who they are.

    However, if you do some homework, you find out they are EBATES, FAT WALLET, or
    the major portals.

    Another thing the do not tell you is that on these so-called top traffic sites, the merchants pay a slotting fee, just like they do for shelf space in your local supermarket. Sure the portal make a commission on sales, but they also charge the merchants a fee to spin their links.

    For example:

    I have one site that makes about $300 per month, sometimes more. The traffic is ALL PPC that averages $30 to $40 a month. It's been doing this same trick since PPC began. Now I have tried to increase the sales by other means and more PPC, but the results were not good. It's a NICHE that works because it is a niche. The merchant pays like clockwork.

    I have another site where the traffic is 100% organic search or from bookmarks. It's the second site I ever put up, a one page wonder, over 10 years old. It used to make about $100 per month but that figure has dropped due to changes by the merchant. But, it still is a $50 or so per month cash cow. The merchant pays like clockwork.

    So there are exceptions. Eric is right that merchants need sales and not clicks. But who's fault is it that the merchants DO NOT make sales and who's fault is it that merchants cheat, deal with parasites, etc?

    And finally, how come all these so called geniuses need to work for a wage for merchants
    or AM companies. If they are so smart and being an affiliate is so lucrative, why are they not raking in the money on the come as affiliates?

    You can make money as an affiliate ... but you can also lose money. A level playing field
    would be nice to have, but it ain't happening ... and that is why Goofle does not let you
    get your clicks for FREE or blows you out if they can steal your money and get away with it. Ditto Amazon, EBAY, Linkshare, CJ and all the rest.

    Think about this: Amazon just blew out ALL their North Carolina affiliates ... question is are they going to pay them what they owe them down to the penny ... if you have less than $100 in the kitty are they keeping the money because $100 is the payment threshold.

    Knowing the people at Amazon, I bet they keep that money ... maybe 20,000 plus people get the shaft and Amazon saves a million or so dollars in the process.

    To paraphrase Kermit the Frog: "It ain't easy being an affiliate."

  20. #20
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    Michael ... I have a question for you? And can you be specific in your answer.

    How do you tell high quality traffic from low quality traffic in ADVANCE or their visiting your web site?

    I would like to know. I have sold thousands of dollars of stuff off EBAY from the most
    obscure and what every one would call 'low quality traffic.' Plus, I have sold a similar amount from SEO in Google and PPC in Google.

    But one day you are golden at SEO in Google and the next day you are listed in the basement.

    And while you make sales from PPC, it's not ALWAYS profitable in and by itself.

    So please tell me how you know in advance when a visitor is high quality or low quality?

  21. #21
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by net4biz
    So please tell me how you know in advance when a visitor is high quality or low quality?
    I'd like to hear someone try to come up with an answer to that ...

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  22. #22
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    I'll say if you have a sale every 10 clicks or less you have high quality traffic.
    Between 10 and 100 clicks you have good quality traffic.
    Above 100 clicks for a sale you have low quality traffic.
    These values may depend of your merchant and your offer. Some merchants are harder to convert than others.

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador CCBerries's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by net4biz
    AFFILIATES ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO ARE EXPECTED TO WORK FOR FREE until a sale is made and..."
    I own a business: newsflash.. I don't get paid unless there is a sale, there are years that I've worked for free

  24. #24
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    I'll say if you have a sale every 10 clicks or less you have high quality traffic.
    Between 10 and 100 clicks you have good quality traffic.
    Above 100 clicks for a sale you have low quality traffic.
    These values may depend of your merchant and your offer. Some merchants are harder to convert than others.
    If I had a sale very 10 clicks, I'd give up my shared header that has 1000's of impressions every day and make some cash..

    NOT Happening!

    Can't find a new merchant that converts and makes cash..

    With an un-named merchant site, I have 800 click thrus this month and have not seen a penny. NO SALES! -

    ALL Organic Traffic ........

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  25. #25
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    For years, I had a ton of traffic and I was happy with low convertions. (1 sale every 100 clicks)
    Then, Google had that Florida update and I had to rethink my business model. Now, I average 1 sale every 10 clicks. I'm working on rebuilding the traffic I had 10 years ago (and I'm getting there). I don't use PPC (Last time I paid for traffic was paid inclusion with Inktomi before 2000) All organic traffic.
    Finding the merchants able to convert your traffic is one of the keys to success.

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